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10-04-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
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How a Broken Tripod Leads to a K100D Super!

So I wanted to take some morning sunrise shots.....Believe it or not I can't hold my camera THAT steady for a 1.0 exposure (but I tried) Sooo, I dig out my trusty Velbon...no quick plate. Hmmm...looked all over too. dunno WHERE that bugger got off to so I went with my 35 year old Vivitar tripod. Weighs a ton but it works...

A trip to the camera store(s) locally provided...zip. Adorama has them but...me want NOW! Last store I go to, I did find one that works beautifully! (With two pieces of inner tube under it) So that's good but whilst I'm there I spy this poor forlorn Nikon FM-2 in the used counter. Now, I'm a real sucker when it comes to these old film SLR's. Right above THAT and a little off to the side are the two Nikon's I've been lusting for next...D300 or D7000 which someday, will be the next step in my journey. Someday. Both used, both beautiful so of course I go take a closer look...big mistake, but what catches my eye NEXT is the Pentax K100D Super on the other end with its paws on the glass and a cute little whimper..... and a $150 price tag.

Ever pick up a camera and go...S-I-G-H ??? That's how it was. I fiddled and played, hemmed and hawed...reluctantly I put her back. Round these parts one does not see too many Pentax DSLR's.

Then I go home and do some research. Now I gotta tell you, back when, I couldn't afford a Pentax. Took me near forty year to acquire that beloved K1000 and boy, is she SWEET! Yeah, I've always been partial to Pentax...anything. Still have that Canon A-1 that replaced my trusty Mamiya all those years ago but when I finally got tired of the 'point and shoot mini cameras' and dived into DSLR's it was with a Nikon D50...which I really REALLY like. BUT.

I noticed some things;
K100DS has a focus motor in the body just like the D50 (big selling point for me on the D50)
K100DS has some really cool features I liked.
K100DS FELT like my D50 which, the way the controls are setup and so on, really works for me. (Can you tell I really LIKE my D50?)
I just happen to have some K mount lenses that will work beautifully with the K100DS...
It takes the SDHC cards (D50 doesn't)

The reviews were all very good and what I read on the thing, I was more and more impressed. Some of the reviews I read said the K100D/S are the K1000 of the 21st century. Hmmm...so guess who was waiting at the camera store this morning when they opened?

Oh yeah, every shutter click makes me love her that much more and it isn't just the $150 price tag. I was looking for a 'less expensive' camera for those locations I'd rather not use a more expensive camera and I was looking for something that would be suited for fast action shots or situations where my 'holding' isn't quite steady in other words, I was considering (and hating the idea) of using my Canon Powershot IS for that...the K100DS fit that bill quite nicely. I mean, it's almost like Pentax knew what I was looking for and built the thing!

It takes AA batteries. Wow. For now, I'm just using what the manual recommends but later...

The exposure, and I might be wrong about this, it seems like it handles things just a bit better than my D50 but for now, I'm really liking this one! I did some test shots with back light, side light, shady with back light, scenes that would give ANY camera exposure genie (there's a little genie in there, right?) trying to expose the shot right. The K100DS handled those easily, maybe better than...what was that other camera I have?

I like the red flash showing the auto focus zone. The viewfinder BTW is set up like the D50 (sorta) and maybe a little brighter. Maybe.

The controls/menus are really laid out nicely. Just like the D50, all the little buttons seem to be right where I need them.

Downsides; I didn't get a manual but now I have one on my phone! I didn't get a cable (I discovered it takes an odd size USB I don't happen to have) but a trip to adorama fixed that! (And I got the quick plate for my tripod...)

So far, I REALLY like how easy it is to use, even on manual. In some ways, it works just like my D50. The controls are similar and...it has a bigger screen. AND, it handles just as good, maybe better. I've found most things I can figure out without the manual pretty easy. A couple of things I had to look up but...simple. Even a dork like me can remember them! In short, I'm really liking this camera and its going with me tomorrow for some action!

Anyone else out there using the K100D and what do you think?

10-04-2013, 05:51 PM   #2
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Still have mine, even though I've upgraded, I still use it and have no plans to ever get rid of it. I got it in 2008, it was refurbished, and it has been a solid and reliable body. It did develop a fault with the e-dial earlier this year though, but the service manual is freely available and all it needed was a little cleaning.
10-04-2013, 09:55 PM   #3
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I'm using one !! and like it a lot. I bought it from someone my friend knows, who was in need of money , and sold it to me for $80 , Best $80 ever invested ! But I should't have shown it to my daughter , she appropriated the camera :-)
I have a hell of a time trying to grab it even for a few hours !! lol
10-05-2013, 02:42 AM   #4
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Yes on paper, she's obsolete! Been left behind in the pixel wars! Can't fire like a machine gun! But yet there is something about the way she takes photos that is remarkable!!(sigh) I started with K110d. Then I bought a used K100d and gave the other to my daughter, which she adores!!!

What I like is; the k mount and its endless options, the well thought out menus, ergonomics, build quality, the AA batteries and in body SR!!! About the batteries I was at a birthday party and had forgot to make sure they were charged up! No problem, I pulled the ones out of my flash(always keep it with me) finished out the day!!! If you are looking for a really good rechargeable battery, imho the Enloops are the best bet.
Joel

10-05-2013, 05:32 AM   #5
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A K100D was my first DSLR, and it was an awesome camera. I upgraded to a K-x for the improved high ISO performance & higher resolution, but the images I took with the K100D stack up just fine with those from the K-x. That CMOS sensor in the K100D provides fantastic color rendition, too.

Congrats! You've got a fine photographic tool, there! - Bob
10-05-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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Yep. I started with an *istD then moved to the K100D.

Mine is now with my daughter. I upgraded to K-7 but I'm not sure that was a worthwhile change. I should have waited then gone straight to the K-5 ( for high ISO performance). I'd have saved money.

What I missed with the K-100D after the *istD was the extra thumb wheel.
10-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #7
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So you CAN use rechargeable batteries? How about the Energizer?

One thing I noticed was, I popped in an 8GB card, formatted it and snapped away. The image counter seemed to read fine. Then I noticed it was set to RAW so I changed it to JPEG. Now the counter just reads 999. Hmmm...I did reformat the card and start over, the images are there (in JPEG says the counter and the image numbers and file names seem correct but what's with the 999?

Just playing around with it the colors DO seem better than on my Nikon but I haven't viewed them on the computer as I'm waiting for a cable. The exposure compensation works REALLY well, super easy to get a nice exposure in tough situations. I really think she's a keeper!
10-05-2013, 07:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dubiousone Quote
So you CAN use rechargeable batteries? How about the Energizer?
They work fine. I use 'em. Just don't use a 15 minute charger with them. It'll burn up the batteries. Get a good charger, like a Maha.

QuoteOriginally posted by dubiousone Quote
One thing I noticed was, I popped in an 8GB card, formatted it and snapped away. The image counter seemed to read fine. Then I noticed it was set to RAW so I changed it to JPEG. Now the counter just reads 999. Hmmm...I did reformat the card and start over, the images are there (in JPEG says the counter and the image numbers and file names seem correct but what's with the 999?
It changed because you can store more than 999 JPEGs on an 8GB card, or at least that's what the camera is estimating. RAW files are much larger, so you can store fewer to a card. 999 is the maximum number on the display.

10-05-2013, 06:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
They work fine. I use 'em. Just don't use a 15 minute charger with them. It'll burn up the batteries. Get a good charger, like a Maha.



It changed because you can store more than 999 JPEGs on an 8GB card, or at least that's what the camera is estimating. RAW files are much larger, so you can store fewer to a card. 999 is the maximum number on the display.
Ah...ok. I read the manual cover to cover and didn't see that. (200+ pages?!?) Thank you!

I haven't worked in RAW yet...I've got too much 'new' to absorb so I decided to keep things...simpler for now.
10-05-2013, 07:01 PM   #10
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I loved my K100D. I kept it until last Christmas when I passed it on to my niece. It has always taken beautiful photos with wonderful colors. I'm glad they are still out there providing similes.

10-06-2013, 10:13 AM   #11
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Here's a photo of my new sweetie! Taken with my Nikon 1/60, F5.6 in natural light with a bounce/fill flash
10-06-2013, 05:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
That CMOS sensor in the K100D provides fantastic color rendition, too.
It's a CCD. Same magical Sony 6mp CCD as in the nikon d50 I believe.


I still use my k100d, which I've had since it was introduced in late 2006. My roommate at the time had a Nikon d50 which was better in some ways (much better flash control, Nikons version of SDM + screw drive, easier to use bulb mode) and worse in others (no built-in SR, no wired remote, viewfinder felt even more like a tunnel). The AA's... I've come to have a love/hate with them. Invest now in a quality smart charger, and stick with quality high capacity AA's (PowerEx 2700mAh work well) or Eneloops to save yourself some frustration.

My k100d works as well today as it did 7 years ago (I'd like to think I've improved a little). Almost as well anyways, some of the buttons are starting to get flaky but it's been through a lot. It was well worth the price I paid for it when it was new, at $150 they're a fantastic deal
10-07-2013, 06:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
It's a CCD. Same magical Sony 6mp CCD as in the nikon d50 I believe.
Yep... My bad. :-)
10-07-2013, 07:21 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I forgot to add the one thing I don't like! When I bought mine, I could tether it to my laptop with a program designed for the *Ist series. then when I upgraded the firmware to shoot with SDHD cards, they killed that function!! Those jerks!! Not the camera's fault of course. There I better. I spent years wanting to gripe about that, and now I'm free!!
10-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joel B Quote
I forgot to add the one thing I don't like! When I bought mine, I could tether it to my laptop with a program designed for the *Ist series. then when I upgraded the firmware to shoot with SDHD cards, they killed that function!! Those jerks!! Not the camera's fault of course. There I better. I spent years wanting to gripe about that, and now I'm free!!
Oi, that pissed me off too! Especially since I wasn't aware of this defect of the new firmware and didn't even use the sdhc capabilities until a couple of years after the fact. I have no idea what possessed me to violate my 'don't upgrade if it ain't broke and doesn't add new features I need' policy
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